Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Lake Erie

Muniak and Smallwood Take Top Honors for Storm Volleyball

Muniak and Smallwood Take Top Honors for Storm Volleyball

PAINESVILLE, OHIO –  Lake Erie College volleyball coach Gary VanCauwenberge handed out the program's annual individual awards on Monday night, Nov. 23, officially capping the 2009 season.


Senior Erica Muniak (Geneva, Ohio/Geneva) was named the team's most valuable player while sophomore Rachel Smallwood (Carlisle, Ohio/Carlisle) was named the squad's most improved player.


Muniak ranked third on the team in kills with a career-high 173, the eighth highest single season total at Lake Erie dating back to 2000.  She also finished the season with 235 digs and 31 total blocks.


The outside hitter finished her career with 599 kills, the second most in recorded school history.  Her 761 digs rank third all-time and her 70 career aces are fifth.


“Erica had a strong season to close out her career and was an important player and leader for us during the transition from Division III to Division II,” said VanCauwenberge. “Statistically she ranks very high in a number of categories, demonstrating her well-rounded game on the court.”    


Smallwood appeared in 26 matches this season at middle hitter, after playing in just three as a freshman, and finished with 49 kills and 39 blocks. 


“Rachel made some nice improvements in her game during the offseason and it showed as she was much more involved in the game plan this season,” VanCauwenberge said. “Hopefully she can continue to improve her game going forward.”       


In addition, Smallwood and junior Brittany Hammonds (Newark, Ohio/Newark” were presented with the “most insightful” award for their team-building contributions in practice and team huddles.


The Storm posted a 10-27 record in 2009, more than doubling its win total from 2008.  Lake Erie is expected to return 17 players next season next season.